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Copper Camp Trail #87 - 4 members in 16 triplogs have rated this an average 3.8 ( 1 to 5 best )
16 triplogs
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16 Triplogs
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Apr 14 2017
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,162
 Triplogs 154

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Copper Camp Loop IIPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 14 2017
jacobemerick
Backpack33.60 Miles 5,993 AEG
Backpack33.60 Miles2 Days         
5,993 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Short Version
This is a fantastic loop through a remote section of the Western Mazatzals. The trails are sweet, the views are big, and it almost entirely avoids the Willow/Sunflower Fire burn areas.
-------------------------------------

Long Version
Prelude
Drove up on Thursday and car camped at Horseshoe campground. Mostly quiet, road was a bit rough. Not sure if I'll be taking the minivan on 205 again until it gets graded.

479/477
Plan was to do most of this road walk in the dark, though alarm failed me and then I got confused trying to find my way to the dam from campground. Following roads is hard. So only 479 in the dark. Start of 477 was difficult to track through the wash, then a rocky, hilly ride to wilderness boundary. Tweaked my left knee early on which filled me with confidence. Brief pauses at Cholla Tank and Trail Springs to check on water situation.

Copper Camp #87
Trail starts humble enough - no formal trail sign, horse gate is overgrown w/ prickly pear, sporadic tread, and few cairns for the first mile. Plus the final drop is badly washed out. Along the creek things gets more fun. Trail criss-crosses the creek repeatedly, and it definitely pays to look for the cairns. Creek was very overgrown and forced me to a crawl repeatedly. Path will climb up along the sides of the valley (reminding me of Upper La Barge Box) and is in shockingly good shape for the most part, only a few bad overgrown patches and washouts. Water flowed in several sections, including the loading corral. Then it climbs up Squaw Flat in a punishingly exposed way.

Cairns help a lot on the climb, as the trail can be difficult to trace over the grassy/rocky slope. I made some bad water decisions and made the haul up with only two liters in the afternoon and it hurt. Once it crests near 5400' it ventures through lovely pines, where some angry yellow rattler was waiting for me, and then deadfall and route-finding after you enter the burn area. A surprise seep at the junction of Sheep Creek Trail was very appreciated. I pushed on to Squaw Flat Spring expecting to find more water there and didn't. Set up dry camp here and read for a few hours before a most exhausted sleep.

Sheep Creek #88
Woke up early and made it back to junction and that seep before sunrise. Watered up and headed up the trail, which quickly climbed out of the burn area with none of the deadfall or route-finding issues that the end of #87 had. The roller coaster was fun to do in the cold morning temps, and then it was down down down. Knee felt surprisingly good and most of the trail was broad and easy to roll down. Last few hundred feet of descent began to get a bit choked up. Creek section was fantastic, reminding me of a rocky Midwest creek with piles of leaves and soft grassy banks, and the trail criss-crossed a few times and was well-defined. Beyond the end of Cypress Ridge the desert took over from the trees and the banks became thorny and nasty.

Trail seemed harder to follow so I began switching between hopping along the rocks in the wash, connecting game trails, and hunting for cairns. Then the old fence line led right to Sheep Creek proper and my planned breakfast stop. After a too-long break I checked out Round Spring and then promptly lost the trail on the way up to the corral. Took some hunting to find the trail sign, assumed it was the junction of Sears, and started heading west a few hours before noon.

Sears #90
The first few miles of this was taxing. Trail and I played a game that I kept losing. Cairns helped, as did some glimpses of the tread, but there were no prints to speak of. Near the fulstrum I decided to check out Lizard Spring, choosing water over a cement thing, and had a terrible time descending down the hill. Bit of a path leading down but it involved a whole lot of sliding. Found plenty of water and a weird tree, so it was worth it? Climbed back up to trail and then had an easy time dropping down into the unnamed wash. Trail was clearly marked the whole way, and then the wash was easy enough to trot along. I followed some cairns where my GPS told me to exit the wash and had a very bad time. Eventually found the trail after spilling a whole lot of blood and it was stupid wide and easy, looking more like an old two-track than trail.

Trotted down past the corral and finished the drop into Davenport. Cairns took a sharp left turn at the bottom of chalk cliffs and, vaguely remembering a discussion on here about a Sears Trail re-route, I decided to follow it instead of the road. I'm not sure if this was a smart idea. Instead of what looks to be a straight half mile of road in the wash I was on a zig-zagging route with plenty of little climbs up and down washes that made for a frustrating ending. Finished the last of my water right before meeting back w/ 477, and then decided to follow cairns instead of the road in hopes of finding an actual trailhead sign for Sears. Never did. Did meet another rattler at Sears TH Spring. Oh, and that spring looks toxic.

Final few miles of road walking was not a lot of fun, especially with a few vehicles blowing dust and diesel fumes on their way to/from the ranch. Dam was pretty busy with fisherman and photogs. Considering that I hadn't seen a single person on the trails, guess it was only fair that there were crowds at the end.

Mazatzal Miles: 78.6/274 (28.7%)

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Camp Creek @ Loading Corral Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Chalk Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full
Dripping from under the roots.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Copper Camp Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Big pools, clear flowing water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Lizard Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Good flow above and along spring.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Round Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Overflowing spring.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Sears TH Spring Dripping Dripping
Ugly green ponds of water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Sheep Creek - Upper SE Fork Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Sheep Creek Seep Quart per minute Quart per minute

dry Squaw Flat Spring Dry Dry
No sign of dampness or spring.
_____________________
2 archives
Mar 29 2014
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 372
 Photos 8,261
 Triplogs 1,002

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Copper Camp - Cypress Ridge Loop, AZ 
Copper Camp - Cypress Ridge Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 29 2014
BiFrost
Hiking21.59 Miles 6,323 AEG
Hiking21.59 Miles   13 Hrs   20 Mns   1.86 mph
6,323 ft AEG   1 Hour   45 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
joebartels
The_Eagle
topohiker
Ken's annual Copper Camp Loop hike didn't go exactly as drawn up. We started at Mormon Grove TH as planned and linked up with section of AZT # 22 Saddle Mtn. AZT section is great trail as most are and eventually drops down into McFarland Canyon where we split off AZT and started up Copper Camp trail # 87. The trail soon tops out and then starts down the ridgeline into Copper Camp Canyon. The views on the ridgeline are great of Sheep Mtn, Saddle Mtn, and the rest of the Mazzies.

We made the bottom of Copper Camp finding some decent water, an old cabin site and the low elevation point for the loop. Took short break and doused with some water before heading back up another ridgeline to gain back the elevation. Great views here as well but steep climb out of the canyon. After some effort and sweat we made it to Cypress Ridge over looking Copper Camp and the lunch spot for the day. Everyone was ready for the lunch break after the long climb. At lunch Joe suggested the idea of traversing the rest of Cypress Ridge and to his surprise everyone agreed to give it a shot.

This is where the trip deviated from the original plan which had us going around Cypress Ridge instead of over it. Cypress Ridge offered the best views and highlight of the hike despite the fact that it was all off trail. It was slow going at times with boulders and brush but we eventually made it down to the Sheep Creek #88 which was back on the original route.

Bye this time it was getting dark and we made the junction of Copper Camp and Sheep Creek trail where we pumped some water for the last 5 miles out. Made it back to the AZT section and then out to the car by 920pm. Long day but awesome section on Cypress Ridge. Thanks for the invite Ken :)
Culture
Culture
Cag Shot
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Poppie, Mariposa, Hedgehog, Claret Cup.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Camp Creek @ Loading Corral Light flow Light flow
Light flow with small pools some a foot deep.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Squaw Flat Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Light flow in the creek around the spring.
_____________________
Mar 29 2014
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 245
 Routes 837
 Photos 12,313
 Triplogs 4,968

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Copper Camp - Cypress Ridge Loop, AZ 
Copper Camp - Cypress Ridge Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 29 2014
joebartels
Hiking21.60 Miles 6,323 AEG
Hiking21.60 Miles   13 Hrs   50 Mns   1.79 mph
6,323 ft AEG   1 Hour   45 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
BiFrost
The_Eagle
topohiker
Ken's annual Copper Camp Loop with a twist. Everyone enjoyed the hike heading down. Ken wanted to stay out of the creek this year and attempt to follow the trail on the right. A hearty maintence crew would need to reestablish it as the creek environment has swallowed the old trail.

Hiking up and off-trail to Cypress Ridge is always a blast. Once there the dreary task of descending and going around the ridge is at hand. I mentioned riding the ridge out as an alternative for a future year. Shockingly the idea turned to this year and no objections surfaced.

The ridge was a bit longer than anticipated. Karl & I thought it was nifty. Ken & Bruce didn't share our enthusiasm. The constant low key scrambling was not their style. Karl & I waited and admired views with greater consistency across the ridge. Unfortunately Ken never really got to see the incredible views as he was concentrating on the terrain. Karl & I recalculated our options several times along the way. While I regretted ever suggesting the ridge, it all worked out.

Back on trail we started up the monster ascent back to the trailhead. While the hike had varied reviews I enjoyed the diverse company of the group. I look forward to finding a balance of terrain we all can enjoy!

4 quarts
Flora
Flora
Desert Mariposa
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
- joe
Mar 29 2014
The_Eagle
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 805
 Photos 10,311
 Triplogs 1,630

65 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Copper Camp LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 29 2014
The_Eagle
Hiking22.02 Miles 6,300 AEG
Hiking22.02 Miles   13 Hrs   54 Mns   1.78 mph
6,300 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break17 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
BiFrost
joebartels
topohiker
My first hike with topohiker Ken and why not start it off with one of his classics, the Copper Camp Loop.

07:30 Start - Mormon Grove TH

09:30 - 5 miles in to my cache spot at 87/88 intersection.
A pleasant stroll on Saddle Mountain #91 and Sheep Creek #88 (also AZT-22).
The birds were chirping, butterfly's fluttering and the Temps are perfect.
Big views from up here. Down in McFarland Canyon area, where the AZT splits off to the Thicket Spring Trail #95. There was plenty of pooling to filter from.

10:00 - 6 Miles in to begin the drop to Copper Canyon Camp (5,450' - 3,100')
This was my favorite part of the hike. (Mile 5 to Mile 9).
The views were killer. Lion Mountain looks to be an Interesting destination... Been up on top of that one Richard?

12:00 - 9.25 - 10.25 Miles Medium to thick Cat claw starts
You run into another Riparian area in this section. Also the worse Cats Claw you'll encounter... but it's short-lived.

12:30 - 10.25 miles in, start to climb to lunch on Cypress Ridge (3,100' - 4,900')
The first 2/3's of this climb is not too bad. The last 1/3 took it out of me.

14:15 - 12 miles in, lunch
Pretty lunchtime views, and the Sales Pitch for the "Short Cut" begins.

14:40 - Start the 3 miles across Cypress Ridge to Sheep Creek #88
Nobody said No. It wasn't bad or scary... just a lot slower going than anyone planned.
Views were killer. Ken found new stains and cuts on the tops of his shoes that he had not noticed before. This was a variation of Ken's Loop that I don't think he'll be doing next year.

18:00 - 15.3 Miles in, back on a trail again (Sheep Creek #88)
I remember this from the last time back here. This trail gets a bit steep in places.

19:12 - 17 miles in, back to the Cache spot at the intersection of trails 87/88.
I'd been running low and actually Ken loaned me half a Gatorade. We all filtered water at my cache spot. I guzzled a liter. Temps were now cool at 54.

A five mile walk back to Karl's truck couldn't end quick enough.

21:23 - 22 Miles, back at the Mormon Grove TH


A short Video :next: http://youtu.be/OOWFc2-AdVQ

Great meeting you Ken.
Thanks for Driving and the Barley Pop Karl!
Culture
Culture
Aircraft
Named place
Named place
Horseshoe Reservoir
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Camp Creek @ Loading Corral Light flow Light flow
Nice cool small pools to filter from and soak your hat / shirt in.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Squaw Flat Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Not sure of exact spring location, but there was pooling and slight running water in the creek bed

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Upper McFarland @ #88/95 Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Some Filterable water available
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Mar 29 2014
topohiker
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 113
 Photos 4,567
 Triplogs 2,331

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Copper Camp LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 29 2014
topohiker
Hiking22.16 Miles 6,323 AEG
Hiking22.16 Miles   13 Hrs   45 Mns   1.83 mph
6,323 ft AEG   1 Hour   40 Mns Break
 
Partners partners
BiFrost
joebartels
The_Eagle
This year’s Copper Camp Loop went off pretty good. This time we stayed on the right side of the Copper Camp creek for as long as we could before crossing at the actual camp. I think it was easier than zig-zagging in the creek.

We made the long climb up Cypress ridge to the lunch spot. As we finished eating Joe turned on his used car salesman's charm and starting talking about an easier shortcut. The shortcut would cut at least a mile and 500 feet AEG from the hike. There might have been mention of a soda machine along the way. Joe had me at 500 less climbing.

We were told there was a false ridge, but Joe claimed it was good looking ridge after that. I agreed if there was no climbing involved. Well after the 3rd or 4th rock pile I put on the climbing gloves. The terrain turned nicer once we started to descend a bit, there were trees and dirt. The ridge line wasn't that bad. We pop-out almost exactly where the Sheep Creek trail pulls out of the creek bed. This was nice not to deal with the cat-claw fields. Karl and Joe did a great job scouting out the way up and down the Cypress ridge. We never hit any big drops. One interesting note is that we found a cairn about 2/3 of way across Cypress ridge.

The shortcut across the ridge actually added about 700 feet to the AEG :? !

It was a fun hike with some new territory and good company. It was nice meeting Bruce.
_____________________
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
Jan 12 2014
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 34
 Photos 2,417
 Triplogs 1,167

64 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Copper Camp Trail #87Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 12 2014
mazatzal
Hiking12.20 Miles 1,920 AEG
Hiking12.20 Miles   6 Hrs   50 Mns   2.15 mph
1,920 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
guitar
Did a loop up Copper Camp trail and came back via FR477. At the Verde we had to avoid the nesting site by off trailing around the east side beside the mostly dry river bed :roll:

We saw an eagle in the morning but not The Eagle he was in the area yesterday with the boss :) Also saw 4 javalina on the drive home.
Flora
Flora
Teddy-bear Cholla
Culture
Culture
Corral
_____________________
Apr 08 2013
topohiker
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 113
 Photos 4,567
 Triplogs 2,331

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Copper Camp LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 08 2013
topohiker
Hiking32.68 Miles 6,730 AEG
Hiking32.68 Miles   16 Hrs      2.37 mph
6,730 ft AEG   2 Hrs   14 Mns Break
 
Partners partners
fan3992
joebartels
This year’s (8th annual) Copper Camp loop was ~9 miles longer due to the locked gate. We saw fire damage from the Mormon Grove TH all the way to the Sheep Creek / Copper Camp intersection. Joe had it right with "BBQ Loop". The silver lining to the fire is that now you have longer views into the area. I could see new areas that I couldn't before. It also helped by reducing the route finding in McFarland canyon.

This year we found 2 bed frames and barrels next to the Copper Camp creek. We spent a little more time in the Copper Camp creek bed than other years. There was an awesome cool wind blowing as we climbed Cypress Ridge. We did a great on the off-trail. The route was slightly modified and we had no issues. The temps were very agreeable for most the day. It was a bit warm on the lower section of the Copper Camp loop.

Good hike with good company. 4 people started and 4 people finished!
_____________________
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
Apr 06 2013
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 245
 Routes 837
 Photos 12,313
 Triplogs 4,968

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Copper Camp LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 06 2013
joebartels
Hiking31.75 Miles 7,400 AEG
Hiking31.75 Miles   16 Hrs   2 Mns   2.16 mph
7,400 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
fan3992
topohiker
The Cheops daily double left me psyched on life and extremely exhausted. After missing Ken's annual CCL I couldn't let this year slip away. With FR25 still closed from the 2012 Sunflower Fire 9.6 miles was added to access.

#87 and the off-trail to #88 was new territory for myself. After an unexpectedly nice pine stroll on #87 the views looking down towards Lion Mountain are stellar. Like my first Four Peaks adventure (the southern terminus of the Mazatzal range) the feeling was refreshingly uplifting.

There is some bushwhacking and more serious catclaw on this loop. Typical lightweight nylon/poly hiking pants provide enough protection. Nothing required gloves.

We were blessed with perfect weather. It only felt hot during our lunch break at the low point sitting in full sun. I dipped my spare shirt in the creek and joined Dave1's Blanco Diablos for the off-trail hike up to Cypress Ridge. My ears were cold and I was chilly at times.

Based on everything I heard from Fan, she really wanted a longer hike. It was great to meet Mike and finally hike with Ken.

Upset black-tailed rattlesnake & a young gopher encountered in midday heat. One mylar balloon. Consumed almost 4 quarts, Mike downed 7-8!
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunset
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Gooding's Verbena, Primrose, Southwestern Lewisia, Annual Townsend Daisy, Desert Phlox, Gilia, Wiry Lotus, Bluebonnet Lupine, Desert Globemallow, Blue Dicks, Desert Mariposa, Fairy Duster, Banana Yucca, Eaton Penstemon(?), Desert Chicory, Mexican Gold Poppy, Arizona Grape, New Mexican Thistle, Western Wallflower, something white I couldn't id, lots of unknown yellow patches

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Camp Creek @ Loading Corral Light flow Light flow
very light flow, nice and clean

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max East Fork Sycamore Creek & FR25 Light flow Light flow
creek alongside road seen and heard from road flowing better than anticipated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Sheep Creek - Upper SE Fork Light flow Light flow
clean light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Upper McFarland @ #88/95 Light flow Light flow
favorite lunch/break spot on several hikes now, nice light flow

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max West Fork Sycamore Creek @ FR25 Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
just a trickle, mud would require 4x4 to cross (road currently closed)
_____________________
- joe
Jan 19 2013
topohiker
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 113
 Photos 4,567
 Triplogs 2,331

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Fig Trail #92 - Tonto NFPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 19 2013
topohiker
Hiking27.48 Miles 4,945 AEG
Hiking27.48 Miles   13 Hrs   50 Mns   2.73 mph
4,945 ft AEG   3 Hrs   45 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
fan3992
What a day! This was our second attempt to reach the Fig Spring cabin. We started at Horseshoe dam and hiked to the KA Ranch. We went about a half mile past the ranch on FR479 and crossed the Davenport wash. Then we climbed up an unnamed mountain and bushwhacked over where FR477 meets the gauging station by the Verde River. We saw that a vehicle recently forded the Verde by the gauging station. I roamed for a little bit looking for the Cable Crossing, but didn't find it. We took a break by the Verde.

Next we located the Fig Trail #92. The only indication of a junction is a burnt out piece of wood sticking out of the ground. Once you're on the trail you can almost make out an old road. The road gets a little better. We were following horse prints down the road. About 3/4 a mile down the road, the trail hits drainage.

:scared: *DISCLAIMER* Past this point you need a GPS track (or a very detailed map) of the trail and be very comfortable with route finding and bushwhacking. There is NO TRAIL past this point. If there was one, it hasn't been used in years or decades. *DISCLAIMER* :scared:

We lost the horse prints in the drainage. This time we used the GPS track as a guideline for where to go. Last time we tried to stay on the track and that go us no-where fast. I would see what direction the track was going, then look for a nice open path in the desert and go for it. I would check the GPS every 10 minutes to make sure we were still on-track. I tried to stay with 100~200 feet of the GPS track. This made the bushwhacking easier, because we zigzagged around vegetation. Every so often we would 'see' trail, but who knows if it was just a game path.

We had to cross numerous drainages. This was time and energy consuming. Sometimes we had to go a 1/4 mile out of the way to find a viable crossing. When we were about 1 mile from the cabin, we entered a wash and saw a cairn! Then we saw a second cairn when we turned down a second wash! We both agreed that if you got this far, you didn't need cairns. Then we climbed to a ridgeline and saw a path clear of rocks going the opposite of the GPS track. The GPS track made a semi-circle to the Sheep Creek, but the clear rock path went straight for it. We gambled and took the ridgeline path. The path got us about 1/3 mile from the cabin and it ended in a drainage. It was 1:10 now. There was butte blocking our way to the sheep creek ](*,) . We veered towards the GPS track and had to go through a couple of scree fields with drop offs into the drainage.

We hit the track/trail and dropped into a nice wash. Soon after I could see trees! The Sheep Creek was close! Then we hit a fence line going across the wash. I didn't see any openings in the fence, so crawled army style under the fence. There was heavy vegetation and shade by the creek :FG: .
Finding the cabin was a challenge. We found another fence line on higher ground and tried to follow that. Then I remembered that Outlander mentioned the cabin was next to the Fig Spring. We found the spring and another fence line closer to the creek. We followed this fence line for about 300 feet to the cabin! :y: Mission accomplished! :y: The Cabin has seen better days. My GPS showed the cabin at N 33 55.6310, W111 37.8709. It was 2:00. It took us 50 minutes to travel that last 1/3 mile! We took a much needed break and lunch.

On the way back we followed the GPS track back to the ridgeline. This avoided the scree fields. Then we deviated from the GPS track when it showed the trail going down a steep ravine and climbing out the other side. We detoured by going around on a ridgeline to the other side.
The hike back seamed harder because we tried to stay close the hike in. Crossing the drainages seemed harder on the way back. We got to the Fig Trail / FR477 junction at 5PM. The GPS track is 3.5 miles long, but both Fan's and my GPS showed we hiked 5 miles one way!

We decided to take FR477 back instead of bushwhacking across to the ranch. We knew it was longer, but with darkness coming, it was the safer option. As we got closer to the Davenport wash, it got colder and colder yet by the Verde River. I was concerned about crossing the Davenport wash at night, but we followed some Jeep tracks across without issue.

It was a fun but a tiring hike. I don't recommend doing this in a single day, unless you start very early or ford the Verde to reduce the mileage. I don't think you can do this hike twice the same way! Even on the way back, we took a slightly different way back.

It was great being back in the Mazzies!
Culture
Culture
Stream Gauging Station
Named place
Named place
Fig Spring Cabin
_____________________
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
Mar 10 2012
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 34
 Photos 2,417
 Triplogs 1,167

64 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Copper Camp Trail #87Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 10 2012
mazatzal
Hiking20.30 Miles 4,860 AEG
Hiking20.30 Miles   11 Hrs   10 Mns   2.10 mph
4,860 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 no routes
Partners 8 partners
HAZ - Event
fan3992
johnlp
JuanJaimeiii
juliachaos
KaKoe
topohiker
uphill_junkie
wallyfrack
It was a chilly 28 when we started but not too bad. I really like the variety on this one with great views along Saddle Mtn, some nice trees in McFarland and the great views along Copper.

The cat claw was pretty bad down in Copper Creek but when I came back I found it best to stay low and follow the cairns and not take the high route. I saw something black go crashing through the brush near the cottonwoods but I didn't investigate - perhaps a bear?

I struggled a bit climbing back up to Squaw Flat but made it eventually - I'm really glad I turned round at Copper Camp - definitely the right decision for me.

It was great to see Liz and Amy again and to meet Katrina, John, John, Wally, Ken and Fan.

Thanks to all - I had a really great day!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
Jan 14 2012
topohiker
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 113
 Photos 4,567
 Triplogs 2,331

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Fig Trail, AZ 
Fig Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 14 2012
topohiker
Hiking23.87 Miles 4,298 AEG
Hiking23.87 Miles   10 Hrs   40 Mns   3.00 mph
4,298 ft AEG   2 Hrs   42 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
fan3992
Due to work and family stuff, this is my first hike of the year. I was looking for the adventure of exploring a new trail.

I wanted to see the Fig spring Cabin, so we started out to the Horseshoe Dam TH. The morning was cold. The dam is all dried up now. Every time I've been to this area, I've never seen any vehicles. This time we saw a couple of hunters on ATV's and about 6 trucks/Jeeps.

We took FR 479 to the Sears trail to Copper Camp/FR477 to the Verde. We had nice 360 views as FR477 headed down to the Verde We went to the ford spot and the Verde was flowing fast. My topo showed a cable crossing in this spot, but we didn't see it. We headed back up FR FR477 looking for the Fig trail. There is no trail sign, but my GPS had the trail on it. We found the trail. It's an old jeep road. We followed it for about a mile until it crossed a wash with an un-named spring. The road / trail disappeared. We followed the trail on the GPS and never found a real trail. We would come across game trails and mistake it for the trail. The terrain was rugged. After I slipped and bruised my shin bone, we stopped and had lunch.

We were 16 miles in and I knew Fan was not up for 32 mile hike, so I went to plan B. We short-cutted back to the Jeep by following the Verde to the KA ranch. This would cut about 8 miles from return trip. There a nice flat grassy shelf about 1/4 mile from the Verde. That lasted about a mile. Then we hiked up to a ridgeline that my topo showed ending at the Davenport wash. It also showed a nice slope down into the wash.

The ridgeline gave us nice views of the area. By 5PM, we hit the end of the ridgeline. We could see FR477 below us. We started our climb down towards the Sears TH area. We hit a 10 foot dropped. We climbed back up and started going counterclockwise looking for a way down. We keep on hitting deep canyons. At 5:30 we went about 270 degrees around the end of the mountain.
Fan saw a doable path down. We had to scramble down about 20 feet of boulders. There were some drop-offs, by this time we had options to go around them. By 5:50 we were in the Davenport wash! A quick bushwhack had us on the road that fords the Verde. On the way back, I noticed there was a nice gentle slope down the ridgeline. If we had gone clockwise, we would have hit it right away! We were back at the Jeep by 6:40.

I wanted an adventure and I got!
_____________________
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
Apr 03 2011
topohiker
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 Guides 14
 Routes 113
 Photos 4,567
 Triplogs 2,331

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Copper Camp Trail #87Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 03 2011
topohiker
Hiking25.87 Miles 4,401 AEG
Hiking25.87 Miles   11 Hrs      2.59 mph
4,401 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I parked at the dam (7:55) and hiked on the walkway to FR2058 to FR477 to the Copper Camp trail. I went out to the Copper Camp and came back. Finding the Copper camp TH can be tricky. Lucky for me my GPS had FR477 pre-loaded and I was able to find it. Copper Camp is an old Jeep road for the first 5~6 miles. Then it drops down into the Sheep Creek and the route finding begins. Parts of the trail in the Sheep Creek are washed away and it's easier to follow the creek bed. I spent a lot of time looking for the trail and re-routing washed out parts. The trail picks up after you enter the Copper Camp creek. I missed some trail cutoffs and wound up going up the creek bed. I got to the camp by 1:20. I headed back. This time I was able to stay on the trail through the Copper Camp creek. I had lunch in the shade by the Sheep Creek. I also pumped some water. On the way back I checked out the alternate Copper Camp TH. I also did my usually exploration for ideas on futures hikes. I got back to the Jeep by 7:05.

Wildlife:

1) I took a wrong turn by a corral and saw a Gila monster! :DANCE:
2) Right by the wilderness boundary a coiled rattlesnake saw me! I jumped backwards; fell on my butt as he slide away. :scared:
3) On the return trip when I was crossing the Copper Camp Creek I almost stepped on another rattlesnake!! I was rock hopping and all of sudden I saw and heard a coiling rattler ready to strike. I somehow in mid-hop went backwards. It scared the piss out me. :o :scared: :pray:
4) As I approached the dam on the way back, I saw a brown fox running on the dam and then he jump into the mountain side.
Fauna
Fauna
Gila Monster
_____________________
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
Mar 04 2010
mazatzal
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 Routes 34
 Photos 2,417
 Triplogs 1,167

64 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Copper Camp Loop IIPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 04 2010
mazatzal
Backpack27.00 Miles 5,660 AEG
Backpack27.00 Miles4 Days         
5,660 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Unlike Topohiker we did not do our loop as a day hike :sweat: but as a 4 day backpack! :D

Started from Horseshoe Dam: Walkway under dam - FR2058 - FR477 - Copper Camp - Cypress Ridge - Sheep Creek - Sears - FR477 - FR2058 - Horseshoe Dam

Day 1
Part of FR477 has been almost washed away in a flood earlier this year and where FR477 crosses Davenport Wash there is no longer a drivable route. The wash was flowing pretty weel and we had to scout around for a good place to cross without getting very wet. Copper camp trail was in okay condition until the steep descent to Sheep Creek. We camped in the grassy area just beside the Sheep Creek crossing.

Day 2
After going through the Copper Creek "narrows", basically where Copper Creek joins Sheep Creek and there is evidence of an interesting old fence and gate, we continued along the trail on the north side of the creek. Shortly after this we came to a huge gully that had obliterated the trail and left no way to continue :o . We continued in the creek bed until we found the trail on the south side of the creek. From here on the trail was okay. We stopped at Copper Camp for lunch and then started the big climb up to Cypress Ridge. The little creek in the first meadow was flowing so we decided to camp here in this very remote area that I'm sure has seen very few backpackers or campers.

Day 3
We continued the Cypress Ridge route and got down to Sheep Creek trail near the old corral. From here we took the trail west to the site of the old Sheep Creek Cabin and saw an old wheel barrow and the remains of the cabin. We then went uphill to the junction with Sears trail and stopped for lunch and then went down Sears trail and camped at the Sears trail springs.

Day 4
Big storms during the night but clear in the morning so we packed up wet tents and headed out. We made it to FR 477 before the next storm rolled in which left us with a couple of soggy miles in the rain.
Named place
Named place
Horseshoe Dam
_____________________
Jan 20 2006
mazatzal
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 Routes 34
 Photos 2,417
 Triplogs 1,167

64 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Saddle Mountain Trail to Squaw FlatPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 20 2006
mazatzal
Hiking15.80 Miles 2,750 AEG
Hiking15.80 Miles   7 Hrs   20 Mns   2.15 mph
2,750 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Took Saddle Mtn TR and Copper Camp TR to about one mile from Copper Camp and then headed back.
_____________________
Dec 16 2002
mazatzal
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 Routes 34
 Photos 2,417
 Triplogs 1,167

64 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Copper Camp Trail #87Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 16 2002
mazatzal
Hiking21.00 Miles 3,210 AEG
Hiking21.00 Miles   9 Hrs      2.33 mph
3,210 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I parked at the Dam - brought my mtn bike along and cycled along the walkway and the roads to the start of Copper Camp TR. This was along day hike for me so it was good that I did a few miles with the bike. I had to push a little past my turnaround time to make it to Copper Camp but I really wanted to get there. Very interesting place with the old chimney, coral and some equipment. Made it back with plenty of time to spare (mostly downhill on the way back except for one steep climb).
_____________________
Feb 23 1997
mazatzal
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 Routes 34
 Photos 2,417
 Triplogs 1,167

64 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Copper Camp Trail #87Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 23 1997
mazatzal
Hiking11.00 Miles 1,400 AEG
Hiking11.00 Miles
1,400 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Out n back to the wilderness boundary.
_____________________
average hiking speed 2.22 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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